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Air Force MARS Operators Support Haiti Earthquake Relief Efforts

01/28/2010

Amateur Radio operators with the US Air Force Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) have been actively supporting the Air Force’s efforts to bring relief to the earthquake-stricken country of Haiti. Via the Air Force MARS Phone Patch network, USAF MARS members have been providing communications support to air crews flying equipment and supplies to the devastated nation.

Numerous phone patches have been facilitated by USAF MARS members, connecting in-flight military aircraft en route to and from Haiti and elsewhere with stations on the ground back in the United States. In one instance, USAF MARS operators ran a phone patch for a transport aircraft returning from the Caribbean area with a group of foreign nationals on board.

“The volunteer service our MARS operators provide is greatly appreciated by the air crews who rely on us to get the job done,” said Barry Priddy, a USAF MARS phone patch operator in Chesapeake, Virginia. “Sophisticated on-board communications equipment sometimes fails, but they know we are here 24/7 to help.” The USAF MARS Phone Patch net is available for worldwide official patches and has sponsored phone lines for morale patches. It is one of several MARS networks that use HF radio to relay communications worldwide, around the clock and in real time, With member stations coast-to-coast, reliable communications links can be established between military aircraft and ground stations anytime day or night. The use of multiple radio frequencies also facilitates point-to-point communications regardless of atmospheric propagation conditions. -- Thanks to David J. Trachtenberg, N4WLL, USAF MARS Public Information Officer for Region III and Northeast Area, for the information



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